City Offers Miami Heat Tickets In Exchange For Guns

Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | January 19, 2013 | 3:26 PM EST

The Miami Police Department is asking residents to turn in their weapons in return for Miami Heat tickets and gift cards.

The gun buyback program is similar to those seen across the country.  Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado hopes that his buyback will prevent gun violence in the area.

"What we're doing here, we're beating the odds," Regalado said. "If one incident is avoided, it's worth it."

A buyback was held today at Jordan Grove Baptist Church where 50 weapons (mostly hunting rifles and small caliber handguns) were handed over in the first hour.

Residents were given a choice of $25 or $50 gift certificates to Walmart or Winn-Dixie -- or 300-level Miami Heat tickets!  Any person who returned an assault rifle was given two 100-level tickets to a game this March.

The Miami Herald reports that residents will have two more chances to turn in their weapons for supermarket gift cards and Miami Heat basketball tickets:

Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at St. John Baptist Church and Feb. 2 at San Juan Bosco Church.

Mayor Regalado says that hosting the buybacks at churches, with pastors overseeing the event, reassures residents that they won't get in trouble for possessing the weapons they're returning.

Residents are assured that they are allowed to return any type of unloaded gun, no questions asked.

Sgt. Freddie Cruz says that returned guns will be taken to the Miami Police Department and tested to see if they were involved in any crimes.  If they are not tied to crimes, they will be destroyed.

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